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“Ask The Chief” is a weekly post allowing readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in the city of Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance our community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs, and the Department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us. 





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Jan 17

January 14, 2019 - Controlled Substance

Posted on January 17, 2019 at 5:05 PM by Kate Berg

January 14, 2019

Ask the Chief

Q: Can you explain the differences between the level of charges for drug offenses: fifth-degree possession, fourth-degree possession, paraphernalia, etc?

Image of pills and a cannabis plant on a blue background with the text "Controlled Substance; Sal

Thank you for your question.  Sometimes the degree of the offense can be confusing. Due to limited space in this article, I will try to summarize below and provide a reference to the statute for the complete legal definition/description.

Minnesota Statute 152.025, controlled substance crime in the fifth degree, is when a person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, III, or IV. The person procures, attempts to procure, possesses, or has control of a controlled substance. Under .05 grams of heroin, or under .25 grams of the controlled substance.

Minnesota Statute 152.024, controlled substance crime in the fourth degree, the person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures containing a controlled substance with intent to sell.

Minnesota Statute 152.023, controlled substance crime in the third degree, on one or more occasions within a 90-day period, the person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of ten grams or more containing a narcotic drug. Or the person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures containing methamphetamine or amphetamine in a school zone, a park zone, or a public housing zone.

Minnesota Statute 152.022, controlled substance crime in the second degree, the person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 25 grams or more containing cocaine or methamphetamine, or in possession of 10 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm, or three other aggravating factors.

Minnesota Statute 152.021, controlled substance crime in the first degree, the person unlawfully possesses one or more mixtures of a total weight of 50 grams or more containing cocaine or methamphetamine, or more than 25 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm, or two or more aggravating factors, or manufactures any amount of methamphetamine.

One-tenth of a gram is usually considered one dose and is similar to approximately one-fourth of a tablespoon (half of a teaspoon), and varies based on the form (pills, powders, crystals) it comes in.

References:

1. Minnesota Statute 152.025, Controlled Substance in the fifth degree. Found online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/152.025

2. Minnesota Statute 152.024, Controlled Substance in the fourth degree. Found online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/152.024

3. Minnesota Statute 152.023, Controlled Substance in the third degree. Found online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/152.023

4. Minnesota Statute 152.022, Controlled Substance in the second degree. Found online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/152.022

5. Minnesota Statute 152.021, Controlled Substance in the first degree. Found online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/152.021

6. Information Sheet for Minnesota House of Representatives – Methamphetamine. Found online at https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/methlaws.pdf

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